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Isatis cappadocica Desv. is a newly found As-hyperaccumulator showing very high remediation efficiency in polluted soils. We studied the effects of arsenic at 0-1400 μM concentrations on seed germination, relative root length, relative shoot height, and root and shoot biomass in young seedlings of I. cappadocica. The seeds were from Iranian arsenic-contaminated mine spoils and from a non-contaminated population. The control for reference was brassica (Descurenia sofia). Germination decreased significantly versus the control with increasing arsenic concentrations. The response to arsenic exposure differed between the I. cappadocica populations and D. sofia. I. cappadocica from mine spoil seeds showed strong resistance to the highest As concentration, with no adverse effects until the 1000 μM dose. Germination from non-mine seeds of I. cappadocica decreased to 89.6% at 1400 μM As. D. sofia germination was completely inhibited at 400 μM As. Relative root length (RRL) and relative shoot height (RSH) decreased with increasing As concentration. Overall, RRL correlated with RSH. Shoot height and root length were more sensitive to arsenic than other endpoints, and might be used as arsenic toxicity indicators. I. cappadocica showed more As tolerance than the reference brassica.
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